Internships are a requirement in a number of professions and choosing to do yours abroad can strengthen and enhance both your future career and your personality. In general, there are two main ways in which a student can go about finding an internship overseas: either through a specialised agency or on his or her own.
Both options come with their distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. Agencies typically charge certain fees, but they also take care of pretty much the entire workload needed to get you in your country of destination. Doing on your own might not cost you a penny, but it is more of a hassle.
Regardless of the way you choose to do it, make sure you start looking for internships as early on as possible, because you may be required to take out a Visa, which might take some time. Some internships are offered in combination with study abroad programmes, so look into the world’s major universities to see what they have to offer. There are also international internship programmes, such as Dream Careers or Intrax, which involve only internship work and no study classes. However, these programmes are highly competitive to get into, so make sure you prepare yourself thoroughly before applying. Another neat idea would be to discuss with the department head of your local university, as they may already have internship programmes set in motion that you don’t know about.
If you are already involved in a study abroad programme, finding an internship to go along with your studies is very easy. Talk to your teachers or supervisors as they may inform you about any organisations that work with international students.
Internship programmes usually have tuition fees you will be required to pay, but in some cases you may be able to obtain a scholarship or find additional ways, such as sponsors, to finance your stay abroad. If none of these solutions are possible, you should probably consider saving up some money prior to departing.
Another aspect to consider is the type of internship you’d like to join: a summer programme, a volunteer programme, a language study/immersion programme, or a full year internship. Internships allow you to go wherever you please, but try to pick a country which speaks a language you are willing to learn or, preferably, you already know. There are internships that also include language classes, but you will be required to carry out at least basic conversations.
Lastly, make sure you pay attention to the documentation that is required from you and submit all the papers within the deadline required by the chosen programme.